Education Minister cuts first sod on £6.8million new build at St Mary’s Primary, Banbridge

Date published: 26 February 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd has cut the first sod on a £6.8million new build at St Mary’s Primary School in Banbridge.

The new build for St Mary’s was included in the Minister’s capital announcement in June 2012. The new school will be a 14 class base primary school with a single nursery unit and two Moderate Learning Difficulty classrooms. The pupils have been decanted to the St Patricks College site for the duration of the build.

Speaking as he cut the first sod, the Minister said:

“Today marks a major milestone in the history of your school. This £6.8million investment will soon culminate in a brand new school, which will provide modern, state of the art facilities for young people to learn in and an improved working environment for all the school staff.”

“Ongoing investment in our schools estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a high quality education. As well as that investment in our schools estate it also contributes to the local economy and secures many construction jobs.

“I am delighted to be here with you today to see your new build get underway. I wish you all well for the future and I look forward to seeing the new school when construction is completed.”

St Mary’s School Principal Des O’Hagan welcomed the Minister to the site and the beginning of construction work. He said:

“This is a very exciting time for all involved with our school. We are absolutely delighted that St Mary’s children will continue to develop and flourish in a brand new building.

“On many occasions we thought today might never happen but we are delighted for all our parents, staff, and pupils present and future who will enjoy our new school building with the most modern facilities available.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. St Mary’s Banbridge has an enrolment of 449 pupils and 27 nursery pupils.
  2. Glasgiven Contracts Ltd are carrying out the construction works.
  3. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect: for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel:
  4. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection:
  5. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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